The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association, grappling with decreasing membership, announced a new board of directors chair.
In a news release, the organization named Juan Julia, a Spanish entrepreneur, its new chairman of the board. The IGLTA bills itself as a leading member-based global organization “dedicated to connecting and educating LGBT travelers and the businesses that welcome and support them along the way.”
“I feel so honored to be part of the IGLTA board and it is a pleasure being the first Spanish member as the board chair,” Julia said in a news release.
Julia is founder and owner of Axel Hotels, a Barcelona based company known for boutique style properties with a catchy tagline -- “hetero-friendly.” Julia is the first European to lead IGLTA since 2006 and his tenure comes at a time when membership is declining.
In a report released ahead of the organization’s annual convention last month in Cape Town, South Africa, an independent auditor found a loss of 80 members in regions across the globe. According to the Pride Enterprises review, IGLTA had just 891 members in April of 2016. This total membership, the report states, “should be of grave concern.”
Elected as Julia’s vice chair is Richard Gray, longtime IGLTA member and current managing director for the LGBT market at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“I’ve known Juan for 15 years,” Gray told SFGN. “He is certainly a visionary leader.”